A Novel Approach: Williston Basin Coil Tubing Fluid Shows Significant Process Improvement

Authors Mike Redburn (Newpark Drilling Fluids) | Cole Cernosek (Occidental Petroleum) | George Norton (Occidental Petroleum)
DOI https://doi.org/10.2118/194265-MS
Document ID SPE-194265-MS
Publisher Society of Petroleum Engineers
Source SPE/ICoTA Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, 26-27 March, The Woodlands, Texas, USA
Publication Date 2019


The successful development of an oil and gas field relies upon the application of technology. Utilizing data-driven results improves drilling efficiency in extended-reach wells. Horizontal drilling of these wells is necessary for oil recovery due to the very low permeability of the reservoir and the presence of natural vertical fractures found in the Williston Basin. The reservoirs within the Williston Basin are generally tight with a relatively high pore pressure. A novel additive used during the drilling phase of the well was implemented and improved for coil tubing milling and cleanout procedure.

Coil tubing application requires the use of robust fluid products due to the demanding environment. The novel additive was used to increase the lubricity improving friction on metal to metal contact where excess torque and drag led to the use of multiple tool runs and several short trips to decrease the drag forces.

Novel water-based drilling fluid enhancer used in varying concentrations maximizes the performance, reducing the need for excessive short trips and an increase in tool life. This paper will highlight the planning phase for the engineering design, the equipment used, friction factor matching, and the challenges encountered using the additive during coil tubing applications. Operators have seen noticeable reductions in days reducing the amount of flat time with prior conventional application. The application case history shows introduction in the Williston Basin and lessons learned when introduced into the Permian.